Mamadou Sakho continued his fine form while Lazar Markovic produced an influential display as the top-flight duo provided the positives on a quiet week for the loanees.
Sakho, who won Palace’s Player of the Month award for March, produced another colossal display at the heart of defence in the surprise 2-1 win, showing his top-level quality and incredible desire to defend at all costs in order to secure victory.
— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho) April 1, 2017
Under pressure for much of the game, Sakho showed tremendous concentration and bravery as he put his body on the line to make some crucial interventions and ultimately come out on top in a physical battle against Diego Costa.
The victory was a fourth in a row for Sam Allardyce’s men with Sakho in the team, and though not all down to the Frenchman, his spectacular form has played a monumental part in the Eagles’ upturn.
The Serbian has been in quiet form in recent games, but switching to a No.10 role in Marco Silva’s 3-4-1-2 formation inspired an immediate improvement, with Markovic playing a key part in the turnaround by starting the move for Hull’s equaliser.
Markovic controlled a difficult ball dropping over his shoulder and showed good strength to hold off his man before cutting inside, exchanging a quick one-two and switching the play to the left, where potential Reds transfer target Andrew Robertson finished.
It was a vital moment as the leveller provided momentum to complete a spirited comeback, and it was much more positive to see Markovic play an influential role which hopefully he can build on.
It was a winless weekend for Liverpool’s Championship duo, but it wasn’t all bad as both of the youngsters enjoyed full match action.
Ryan Kent made a welcome return to Barnsley’s starting XI and completed his first 90 minutes since January in a Yorkshire derby draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) April 1, 2017
The winger seemed determined to take advantage of his starting berth as he turned in an eye-catching performance from his wide position, showing great skill and confidence with his dribbling as he took the fight to the Owls.
Kent completed more dribbles than any player at Oakwell, and his trickery and delivery so nearly inspired the match-winning moment on two occasions, but those supplied were unable to convert the chances provided by the youngster.
Meanwhile, Danny Ward endured a disappointing afternoon as Huddersfield suffered a costly 1-0 loss to relegation-battling Burton Albion.
Ward had relatively little to do but made two important saves in the first-half, and he was powerless to keep out the visitors’ injury-time winner, having the ball passed round him in a two-on-one situation and slotted into his net.
There was typically mixed fortunes for the Reds’ loanees on the continent, with only two of the four borrowed men enjoying match action.
Allan Rodrigues and Taiwo Awoniyi were yet again unused substitutes for Hertha Berlin and NEC Nijmegen respectively, but Pedro Chirivella and Andre Wisdom enjoyed winning weekends.
Wisdom posted consecutive starts at Red Bull Salzburg for the first time this year, and marked the occasion with another assured showing to help his side take another step towards the Bundesliga title with a 5-0 win at Reinhdorf Altach.
Despite being a top-of-the-table clash, the defender enjoyed a relatively stress-free afternoon, but positively, Wisdom proved his dependability as he helped post a second consecutive clean sheet and 5-0 win, with this hopefully enough to keep him in the team.
Meanwhile in the Eredivisie, Chirivella also picked up a big three points as he completed another full match in Go Ahead Eagles’ much-needed 2-1 win at FC Twente.
The 19-year-old didn’t enjoy his most influential outing, but in a game his side were under pressure for large parts and required to dig deep for victory, the Spaniard pulled his weight with a disciplined performance on a tough but rewarding afternoon.
It was another week of little production in the Football League, with only Cameron Brannagan enjoying game time.
Even then Fleetwood Town loanee had to settle for a late sub appearance, playing just the last 12 minutes of his side’s 1-0 loss to Swindon, who left Lloyd Jones out of involvement.
It proved a frustratingly unrewarding cameo for Brannagan, who had little time to make an impact before the Robins then nicked a late goal to dent Fleetwood’s promotion hopes.
Finally, Ryan Fulton was an unused sub for League One Chesterfield while Jack Dunn continues to be side-lined with a hamstring injury at Tranmere.
The Reds’ Loanees This Week
- Sakho – Crystal Palace – Played 90mins vs. Chelsea
- Markovic – Hull – Played 90mins vs. West Ham
- Flanagan – Burnley – Unused sub vs. Tottenham
- Ward – Huddersfield – Played 90mins vs. Burton
- Kent – Barnsley – Played 90mins vs. Sheffield Wednesday
- Chirivella – Go Ahead Eagles – Played 90mins vs. FC Twente
- Wisdom – Red Bull Salzburg – Played 90mins, keeping clean sheet vs. Altach
- Brannagan – Fleetwood – Played 12mins vs. Swindon
- Jones – Swindon – Left out of matchday involvement
- Fulton – Chesterfield – Unused sub vs. Bolton
- Allan – Hertha Berlin – Unused sub vs. Hoffenheim
- Awoniyi – NEC Nijmegen – Unused sub vs. Vitesse Arnhem
- Dunn – Tranmere – Still sidelined by a hamstring injury